Herts Year of Culture 2020
HYOC2020 has been all about celebrating Hertfordshire as a county of creative and cultural opportunity. Despite not turning out as planned, there has still been an amazing array of creativity taking place throughout the year.
For ‘Friends and Family’ month in August, we asked residents to share what family means to them in no more than 500 words. We received lots of fantastic entries which were considered by a panel of judges including award winning scriptwriter and broadcaster Nicholas McInerny, who was born in Hertfordshire. The top 3 entries were:
Family by Ebonie
Friends and Family by Kathy Dunnett
Welcome to the Family by Mike Lansdown
It was difficult for the judges to choose between the top 3, with Mike Lansdown's "Welcome to the Family" being described as wonderfully ambitious with a truly panoramic reach, and Kathy Dunnett's "Friends and Family" as ‘heartfelt’ with a ‘particular resonance during the current time, when we’re separated from those we love’.
However, Ebonie Mather was chosen as the overall winner for her poem "Family" with Nicholas McInerny commenting:
"Family by Ebonie Mather appears to be a beautifully modest exploration of Family in all its aspects but hides a wonderful way with words that captures the truth. For example, 'Family is when you find space in someone's heart to call home'. This quiet confidence exudes throughout the poem as Ebonie moves - through each stanza - over universal ideas such as 'sacrifice' and 'history repeating'. It captures the complexity of family ties - 'holding your tongue', 'impatient, relentless' but finds in the simple act of cutting 'the crusts off' a wonderful image of domestic kindness.
Ultimately family becomes the place from which we can grow to explore the world - 'the places you'll go; and the safety we need - 'family hold you tightly when the planets collide'. A worthy winner."
As the winner, Ebonie worked with Pearldrop Video Productions to create an animated film based on her entry. See the winning animation below, along with the other two shortlisted entries.